Politics 2023-09-15T04:50:56+03:00
Ukrainian news
Kremlin in panic because of AFU’s counteroffensive, trying to hold "referendums" – ISW

Kremlin in panic because of AFU’s counteroffensive, trying to hold "referendums" – ISW

Kremlin, ISW, referendums, AFU counteroffensive


Analysts of the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) report panic in the Kremlin due to the successful counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as evidenced by attempts to immediately organize "referendums" in the temporarily captured territories.

This follows from a statement posted on the official ISW portal.

According to the Institute's conclusions, the urgent statements of Russian protégés about the need to immediately hold "referendums" in the occupied territories of Ukraine indicate panic in the Kremlin due to the counteroffensive of the AFU in the north.

"The Russian leadership may be running out of ways to stop Ukrainian forces advancing across the Oskil River and approaching Luhansk Region. The Kremlin may believe that a partial annexation could prompt the recruitment of additional forces from both Russia and newly annexed Ukrainian territory. Russian troops are desperately trying to mobilize additional forces from all potential sources to replenish their severely degraded and demoralized units, but have been unable to generate significant combat power, as ISW has repeatedly reported," the statement said.

Russian propagandists managed to call the intentions of "referendums" the "Crimean scenario" and threaten to strike NATO in case of Ukrainian counterattacks. The Institute considers such an approach inconsistent, because Russian troops do not fully control any region of Ukraine, and the strikes of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the annexed Crimea clearly demonstrate that even such attacks do not automatically lead to Russian retaliation against NATO.

A partial annexation at this stage would also put the Kremlin in the awkward position of demanding that Ukrainian forces vacate "Russian" territory, and in the humiliating position of being unable to comply. It remains very unclear whether Russian President Vladimir Putin will want to get into such a predicament for the dubious benefit of voicing threats to NATO or Ukraine to escalate, which he is unlikely to carry out at this stage, the report said.

The Institute also noted that the recent Ukrainian successes in the counteroffensive are further reducing the already poor morale among Russian units, which before February 24 had been considered elite, and the number of volunteer units that Russia can create is likely to decrease.

As the Ukrainian News agency earlier reported, on September 9, the General Staff announced for the first time that the AFU are conducting a successful counteroffensive in the Kharkiv direction and are also advancing in the Kherson direction.

On September 18, the AFU crossed the Oskil River in Kharkiv region

At the same time, the losses of personnel of the Russian troops on September 18 increased by 170 to 54,650 killed, and the Ukrainian military destroyed two tanks and two drones last day.


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